FDA Investigating Hepatitis A Outbreak Possibly Linked to Organic Strawberries

The United States Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A that may be linked to two brands of organic strawberries sold at several retailers in the United States and Canada.

According to the FDA, FreshKampo and HEB brand strawberries purchased by consumers between March 5 and April 25 should not be consumed.

The affected strawberries, which have exceeded their shelf life, have been sold at retailers nationwide, including Aldi, HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Weis Market and WinCo Foods.

Cases of hepatitis A have been reported by consumers in California, Minnesota and Canada, all of whom purchased strawberries before falling ill. At least 17 illnesses and 12 hospitalizations have been recorded so far nationwide, according to the FDA.

Hepatitis A is a contagious virus that can ultimately cause liver disease, according to the FDA. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine and pale stools. Infections usually heal within one to two weeks, although in rare cases they can become chronic.

Strawberries should be discarded if you don’t know what brand was purchased, or when and where they were purchased, the FDA recommends. Frozen strawberries should also be discarded.

Anyone with symptoms of hepatitis A after consuming strawberries should contact their health care provider.

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